I’m not sure why I waited so long to pick up the The Giver by Lois Lowry. However, I’m happy I made the time to read this short, but packed dystopian novel.
There’s a lot going on in The Giver. The slim size of the novel original novel, clocking in at 179 pages, is a bit misleading. This book tells the story of a world without color and memories where conformity is the key to survival. I could see glimmers of where some of the more popular contemporary dystopian novels borrowed from Lowry’s world. I can’t be the only one who thought Lowry’s colorless world (Abnegation, anyone?) with the role assignments (faction ceremony) sounded a bit like Roth’s Divergent.
My first thought, after finishing the book in less than 1 day, was “Hollywood is going to ruin this one.” I might purposefully avoid the movie. As a photographer, I started out with black and white film, developing it on my own before moving over to digital. I have this distinct vision of what Jonas’s world looked like as he discovered the truth and I’m not sure I want that spoiled.
Don’t let the size of The Giver or the age (it was published in 1993) lead you astray. Lowry could be seen as the mother (or grandmother?), perhaps, of the modern YA Dystopian fiction novels. The simple, straight forward nature of this novel is refreshing and applicable to today’s world. There are hints of a deeper meaning and hidden story just beyond the edges of the story that keep you reading. With a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, I can understand why fans of the novel were clamoring for a sequel. The Giver receives a thumbs up from Second Run Reviews.